clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Oracle and Google make their closing arguments in Android infringement trial

New, 59 comments

After almost two full weeks of testimony, the copyright phase of the Oracle vs. Google infringement trial wrapped up with both sides presenting their closing arguments.

Phillip Burton Federal Building and US Courthouse
Phillip Burton Federal Building and US Courthouse

The copyright phase of the Oracle vs. Google infringement trial has been winding on for two weeks, but we moved one step closer to resolution today with the attorneys for both sides presenting their closing arguments. Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs made his client's case, referring to the trial as being "mostly about Google's excuses." As evidence of Google's wrongdoing, Jacobs pointed to email exchanges that have surfaced throughout the trial, in which the likes of Eric Schmidt, Andy Rubin, and Tim Lindholm discuss how Google needed to acquire a license from Sun for the use of Java in Android.

Stating that the 37 APIs in question were the "crown jewels" of Java — ones which Google had used to ensure quick developer uptake for Android — Jacobs also attacked Mountain View's fair-use defense, stating that while Android may be given away for free, it is no doubt a commercial effort that generates revenue for the company (we got a peek at some of those numbers last week).

Google called Oracle's primary argument "made up for the lawsuit"

Robert Van Nest took over for Google's portion of the proceedings. Bringing out the file cabinet that made an appearance during Google's opening statement, he characterized Oracle's structure, sequence, and organization (SSO) argument — namely, that the hierarchical layout and interconnections utilized in the 37 APIs can be copyrighted — as "something made up for the lawsuit." Summoning the name of former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz numerous times, Van Nest revisited Schwartz's testimony, during which he'd admitted that Sun never pursued legal action against Google because "we didn't feel we had any grounds." Google's counsel then returned to one of the company's most relatable arguments: that apart from the SSO issue, the copied code found in Android's is made up of just nine lines out of the more than 15 million in Android, and therefore any infringement can be discarded as de minimis. Google's Joshua Bloch admitted it was likely he copied the code and apologized on the stand earlier in the trial.

So where do things stand now? On the legal side, Jacobs was quick to point out that the jury instructions state that jurors should treat SSO as if can be copyrighted (though Judge Alsup has not yet issue a final ruling on the matter himself). The same instructions also state that an infringing work isn't let off the hook by simply adding additional content to any copied material. Both stipulations would seem to cut against two of Google's main defenses, but given Schwartz's testimony, the outcome is anything but certain. The case is now with the jury; we expect they'll reach a decision sometime this week, and we'll be there to let you know when they do.

We've included select slides from Oracle's closing argument below. We will be adding Google's presentation as soon as it's available.